Run the Transact-SQL Debugger

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You can start the Transact-SQL debugger after you open a Database Engine Query Editor window. Then, you can run your Transact-SQL code in debug mode until you stop the debugger. You can set options to customize how the debugger runs.

Starting and Stopping the Debugger

The requirements to start the Transact-SQL debugger are as follows:

  • If your Database Engine Query Editor is connected to an instance of the Database Engine on another computer, you must have configured the debugger for remote debugging. For more information, see Configure firewall rules before running the TSQL Debugger.

  • SQL Server Management Studio must be running under a Windows account that is a member of the sysadmin fixed server roll.

  • The Database Engine Query Editor window must be connected by using either a Windows Authentication or SQL Server Authentication login that is a member of the sysadmin fixed server role.

  • The Database Engine Query Editor window must be connected to an instance of the Database Engine from SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later. You cannot run the debugger when the Query Editor window is connected to an instance that is in single-user mode.

    We recommend that Transact-SQL code be debugged on a test server, not a production server, for the following reasons:

  • Debugging is a highly privileged operation. Therefore, only members of the sysadmin fixed server role are allowed to debug in SQL Server.

  • Debugging sessions often run for long periods of time while you investigate the operations of several Transact-SQL statements. Locks, such as update locks, that are acquired by the session might be held for extended periods, until the session is ended or the transaction committed or rolled back.

    Starting the Transact-SQL debugger puts the Query Editor window into debug mode. When the Query Editor window enters debug mode, the debugger pauses at the first line of code. You can then step through the code, pause the execution on specific Transact-SQL statements, and use the debugger windows to view the current execution state. You can start the debugger by either clicking the Debug button on the Query toolbar or by clicking Start Debugging on the Debug menu.

    The Query Editor window stays in debug mode until either the last statement in the Query Editor window finishes or you stop debug mode. You can stop debug mode and statement execution by using any one of the following methods:

  • On the Debug menu, click Stop Debugging.

  • On the Debug toolbar, click the Stop Debugging button.

  • On the Query menu, click Cancel Executing Query.

  • On the Query toolbar, click the Cancel Executing Query button.

    You can also stop debug mode and allow for the remaining Transact-SQL statements to finish executing by clicking Detach All on the Debug menu.

Controlling the Debugger

You can control how the Transact-SQL debugger operates by using the following menu commands, toolbars, and shortcuts:

  • The Debug menu and the Debug toolbar. Both the Debug menu and Debug toolbar are inactive until the focus is placed in an open Query Editor window. They remain active until the current project is closed.

  • The debugger keyboard shortcuts.

  • The Query Editor shortcut menu. The shortcut menu is displayed when you right-click a line in a Query Editor window. When the Query Editor window is in debug mode, the shortcut menu displays debugger commands that apply to the selected line or string.

  • Menu items and context commands in the windows that are opened by the debugger, such as the Watch or Breakpoints windows.

    The following table shows the debugger menu commands, toolbar buttons, and keyboard shortcuts.

Debug menu command Editor shortcut command Toolbar button Keyboard shortcut Action
Windows/Breakpoints Not available Breakpoints CTRL+ALT+B Display the Breakpoints window in which you can view and manage breakpoints.
Windows/Watch/Watch1 Not available Breakpoints/Watch/Watch1 CTRL+ALT+W, 1 Display the Watch1 window.
Windows/Watch/Watch2 Not available Breakpoints/Watch/Watch2 CTRL+ALT+W, 2 Display the Watch2 window.
Windows/Watch/Watch3 Not available Breakpoints/Watch/Watch3 CTRL+ALT+W, 3 Display the Watch3 window.
Windows/Watch/Watch4 Not available Breakpoints/Watch/Watch4 CTRL+ALT+W, 4 Display the Watch4 window.
Windows/Locals Not available Breakpoints/Locals CTRL+ALT+V, L Display the Locals window.
Windows/Call Stack Not available Breakpoints/Call Stack CTRL+ALT+C Display the Call Stack window.
Windows/Threads Not available Breakpoints/Threads CTRL+ALT+H Display the Threads window.
Continue Not available Continue ALT+F5 Run to the next breakpoint. Continue is not active until you are focused on a Query Editor window that is in debug mode.
Start Debugging Not available Start Debugging ALT+F5 Put a Query Editor window into debug mode and run to the first breakpoint. If you are focused on a Query Editor window that is in debug mode, Start Debugging is replaced by Continue.
Break All Not available Break All CTRL+ALT+BREAK This feature not used by the Transact-SQL debugger.
Stop Debugging Not available Stop Debugging SHIFT+F5 Take a Query Editor window out of debug mode and return it to regular mode.
Detach All Not available Not available Not available Stops debug mode, but executes the remaining statements in the Query Editor window.
Step Into Not available Step Into F11 Run the next statement, and also open a new Query Editor window in debug mode if the next statement runs a stored procedure, trigger, or function.
Step Over Not available Step Over F10 Same as Step Into, except that no functions, stored procedures, or triggers are debugged.
Step Out Not available Step Out SHIFT+F11 Execute the remaining code in a trigger, function, or stored procedure without pausing for any breakpoints. Regular debug mode resumes when control is returned to the code that called the module.
Not available Run To Cursor Not available CTRL+F10 Execute all code from the last stop location to the current cursor location without stopping at any breakpoints.
QuickWatch QuickWatch Not available CTRL+ALT+Q Display the QuickWatch window.
Toggle Breakpoint Breakpoint/Insert Breakpoint Not available F9 Position a breakpoint on the current or selected Transact-SQL statement.
Not available Breakpoint/Delete Breakpoint Not available Not available Delete the breakpoint from the selected line.
Not available Breakpoint/Disable Breakpoint Not available Not available Disable the breakpoint on the selected line. The breakpoint remains on the line of code, but will not stop execution until it is reenabled.
Not available Breakpoint/Enable Breakpoint Not available Not available Enable the breakpoint on the selected line.
Delete All Breakpoints Not available Not available CTRL+SHIFT+F9 Delete all breakpoints.
Disable All Breakpoints Not available Not available Not available Disable all breakpoints.
Not available Add Watch Not available Not available Add the selected expression to the Watch window.

See Also

Transact-SQL Debugger
Step Through Transact-SQL Code
Transact-SQL Debugger Information
Database Engine Query Editor (SQL Server Management Studio)
Live Query Statistics